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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Thrace & Moesia| ▸ |Philippopolis||View Options:  |  |  |   

Philippopolis, Thrace

Philippopolis is Plovdiv, Bulgaria today. A Neolithic settlement dating around 4000 B.C. establishes Plovdiv as among the world's oldest cities. It was a walled Thracian city called Eumolpias when it was conquered by Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great. He renamed it Philippopolis. When it regained independence, the new Thracian name was Pulpudeva. In Latin it was sometimes called Trimontium (City of Three Hills). An important crossroads in the Roman Empire, it became the capital of Roman Thracia.


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Philippopolis, Thrace

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Nomos described this coin as, "An extraordinary piece, especially with remains of its original silver plating. Some marks from cleaning, otherwise, about extremely fine."
SH85458. Bronze medallion, okatassarion or quinarius; SNG Cop 784; Varbanov III 1721 (R8); Mionnet I, p. 419, 358 (R6); Mouchmov 5428 (all same dies), aEF, cleaning marks, areas of light corrosion, weight 38.718 g, maximum diameter 40.8 mm, die axis 15o, Philippopolis mint, 218 - 222 A.D.; obverse AYT K M AYPΛ ANTΩNEINOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed three-quarter length bust of Elagabalus left; reverse MHTPOΠOΛEΩC ΦIΛIΠΠOΠOΛEΩC NEΩ KOPOY, youthful Herakles standing left, nude but for lion's skin draped around his left forearm, resting his right hand on the handle of a club set on the ground and holding an apple in his left hand; big 40.8mm bronze!, ex Nomos AG, auction 10 (18 May 2015), lot 115 (realized approximately $4686 including buyers fee); extremely rare; SOLD


Lucius Verus, 7 March 161 - February 169 A.D., Philippopolis, Thrace

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The first of Herakles' twelve labors, set by his cousin King Eurystheus, was to slay the Nemean lion and bring back its skin. It could not be killed with mortal weapons because its golden fur was impervious to attack. Its claws were sharper than swords and could cut through any armor. Herakles stunned the beast with his club and, using his immense strength, strangled it to death. During the fight, the lion bit off one of his fingers. After slaying the lion, he tried to skin it with a knife from his belt but failed. Wise Athena, noticing the hero's plight, told him to use one of the lion's own claws to skin the pelt.
RP64026. Bronze AE 19, unpublished in standard references, CN_-, aEF, dark green patina, weight 3.761 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Philippopolis (Plovdiv, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AY KAI Λ AYP−HΛI OYHPOC, bare-headed cuirassed bust right; reverse ΦIΛIΠΠO−ΠOΛEITΩN, Herakles standing left, bow, arrow and Nemean lion's skin in right, left resting on grounded club; ex Helios Numismatik auction 7, lot 538; extremely rare; SOLD


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 Dec 192 A.D., Philippopolis, Thrace

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A Neolithic settlement dating around 4000 B.C. establishes Plovdiv, Bulgaria among the world's oldest cities. It was a walled Thracian city called Eumolpias when it was conquered by Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great. He renamed it Philippopolis. When it regained independence, the new Thracian name was Pulpudeva. In Latin it was sometimes called Trimontium (City of Three Hills). An important crossroads in the Roman Empire, it became the capital of Roman Thracia.
RP65210. Bronze AE 21, RPC online 7613, Varbanov III 1115, Moushmov 246; BMC Thrace 22, gVF, weight 4.955 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 180o, Philippopolis (Plovdiv, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AYT KAI Λ AY−PH KOMO∆OC, laureate head right; reverse ΦIΛIΠΠ−OΠO−ΛEITΩN, kantharos; ex Helios Numismatik auction 7 (12 Dec 2011), lot 541; scarce; SOLD


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 Dec 192 A.D., Philippopolis, Thrace

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The Greeks and Romans did not view snakes as evil creatures but rather as symbols and tools for healing and fertility. Asclepius, the son of Apollo and Koronis, learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one snake bringing another snake healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
RP67767. Bronze assarion, RPC online 10621 (1 spec., Oxford), Varbanov 1104 ff. var. (obv leg), Mouchmov Philip 241 ff. var. (same), BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, Lindgren -, Choice gVF, nice green patina, weight 4.167 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 225o, Philippopolis (Plovdiv, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AY M AY KOMO∆OC, laureate head right; reverse ΦIΛIΠΠOΠOΛEITΩN, tripod lebes, snake coiled around center leg, head above bowl; USA import restricted type, acquired by Forum from a Florida based dealer at NYINC 2014; very rare variety; SOLD


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Philippopolis, Thrace

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RP16069. Bronze AE 20, Moushmov -, BMC Thrace -, Lindgren -, SNG Righetti -, SNG Cop -, SNG Lewis -, F, weight 5.386 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Philippopolis (Plovdiv, Bulgaria) mint, obverse [AV K A AVP KOMO∆OC] (or similar), laureate head right; reverse ΦIΛIΠΠOΠOΛEI−TΩN, crescent and three stars; obverese legend off flan and worn illegible; very rare; SOLD


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Philippopolis, Thrace

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RP26652. Bronze AE 20, Varbanov III 747 var. (obv. legend), BMC Thrace -, SNG Evelpidis -, SNG Cop -, SGICV -, VF, weight 4.090 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Philippopolis (Plovdiv, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AYT AI A∆PI ANΩNEIN, laureate head right; reverse ΦIΛIΠΠOΠOΛITΩN, Ares standing half left, naked except for helmet, shield on left arm over back; SOLD


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Philippopolis, Thrace

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Philippopolis today is Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
RP63960. Bronze AE 28, BMC Thrace p. 167, 44; Varbanov III 1712; Moushmov 5404; SNG Cop -, F, nice green patina, weight 13.097 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 225o, Philippopolis (Plovdiv, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AYT K M AYPHΛ MA ANTΩNEINOC CEB, laureate bust of emperor right; reverse MHTPOΠOΛEΩC ΦIΛIΠΠOΠOΛE/ΩC NEΩKO/POY, two wrestlers grappling; ex Mark Staal Collection; scarce; SOLD


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Philippopolis, Thrace

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Varbanov identifies this type as otherwise unpublished and references a single example from the O. Gavrailov Collection. We are not sure why Varbanov lists it as R5 (from 100 to 200 exemplars), but it seems an error. There are no examples on Coin Archives. There is one example on Wildwinds.
RP63194. Bronze assarion, Varbanov III 749 (R5), RPC Online -, BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, SNG Hunterian -, SNG Milan -, SNG Dreer -, SNG Fitz -, SNG Evelpidis -, Lindgren -, VF, scratches, weight 3.589 g, maximum diameter 18.15 mm, die axis 15o, Philippopolis (Plovdiv, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AYT AI A∆PI ANTΩNEINOC, laureate head right; reverse ΦIΛIΠΠOΠOΛEITΩN, Ares standing left, nude, helmeted, patera in right, shield on left arm and shoulder; USA import restricted type, from the old stock of a retiring Ohio dealer acquired by Forum in 2012; extremely rare; SOLD


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Philippopolis, Thrace

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This elaborate issue of large bronzes and medallions commemorates the Pythian Games.
RP36497. Bronze AE 30, Varbanov III 1451 var. (rev. legend) and 1491 var. (obv. legend), choice gF, weight 20.024 g, maximum diameter 30.4 mm, die axis 45o, Philippopolis (Plovdiv, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AVT K M CEV ANTΩNEINOC, laureate head right; reverse KOINON ΘPAKΩN AΛEΞAN∆PIA EN ΦIΛΛIΠΠOΠOΛI, Zeus seated left holding patera and scepter, ΠYΘIA across fields; SOLD


Crispina, Wife of Commodus, Augusta 178 - 182 A.D., Philippopolis, Thrace

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RP00225. Bronze AE 23, Lindgren -, SNG ANS -, SNG Cop -, SGICV -, VF, weight 6.4 g, maximum diameter 23 mm, die axis 225o, Philippopolis (Plovdiv, Bulgaria) mint, 178 - 182 A.D.; obverse KPICΠΠINA CEBACTH, draped bust right; reverse ΦIΛIΠΠOΠOΛEITΩN, Commodus on horseback riding right, spear in fight, rabbit in exergue; obverse somewhat rough and legend blundered; rare; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Bernhart, M. "Dionysos und seine Familie auf griechischen Mnzen" in JNG I (1949).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (London, 1992 - ).
Corpus Nummorum Thracorum - http://www.corpus-nummorum.eu/
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins: European Mints. (San Mateo, 1989).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
Moushmov, N. Ancient Coins of the Balkan Peninsula. (1912).
Poole, R.S. ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thrace, etc. (London, 1877).
RPC Online - http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 2: Macedonia and Thrace. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain, Volume IV, Fitzwilliam Museum, Leake and General Collections, Part 2: Sicily - Thrace. (London, 1947).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XII, The Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, Part 1: Roman Provincial Coins: Spain - Kingdoms of Asia Minor. (Oxford, 2004).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Grce 1, Collection Rna H. Evelpidis, Part 1: Italie. Sicile - Thrace
. (Athens, 1970).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Austria, Klagenfurt, Landesmuseum fr Krnten, Sammlung Dreer, Part 3: Thracien-Macedonien-Ponien. (Klagenfurt, 1990).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Italy, Milano, Civiche Raccolte Numismatiche, VI. Macedonia - Thracia, Part 3: Chersonesus Tauricus, Sarmatia, Thracia, Chersonesus Thraciae, Isole della Thracia. (Milan, 2000).
Varbanov, I. Greek Imperial Coins And Their Values, Vol. III: Thrace (Perinthus to Trajanopolis), Chersonesos Thraciae, Insula Thraciae, Macedonia. (Bourgas, 2007).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, November 19, 2019.
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Philippopolis